Volusia County Prepping

Tomorrow is going to be just like today - until it isn't.

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Meeting Notes – May 2019

May 11, 2019

  • Organizing your neighborhood after things fall apart (follow up from April meeting)
  • Close-in Defense – When you’re already way too close.
  • Bugs and how to control them – Insects are not just an annoying pest – they spread deadly diseases.
  • Killing The Illusion – Popular myths, things you might not have considered, and maybe you need a different plan. (Postponed)

Killing The Illusion will be presented at a later meeting. We simply ran out of time covering the other topics.

Organizing your neighborhood after things fall apart
This was a discussion centered around recreating those important, but seldom-considered, functions of government at a time when a collapsed government no longer exists to provide them. The need does not go away when the government goes away, so how do we go about rebuilding the functions of government?

  • Recording of deeds and property ownership and transfers – If you don’t already have a full-size hard copy of the deed to your home, go to the county courthouse and purchase a copy. Be able to prove that you own your home.
  • Have a hard-bound Legal Records Book with printed page numbers in which to record (using permanent ink) all legal matters. This book must be safely stored and the responsibility of recording and safeguarding the book is a major matter, not to be taken lightly.
  • Documenting deaths – If someone is killed while you are defending yourself, make sure that you have written documentation with witnesses. If a functioning government is restored, you need to be able to legally defend your actions. The dead should be buried along with whatever they have on them at the time. Mark and record the place of burial.
  • Documenting births – Babies will continue being born, and birth records are an important part of our culture as well as our legal system. Record them in the Legal Records Book.
  • These things will not just happen on their own. We must take a leadership role to make it happen. Make sure that you are able to inspire confidence in others so they will go along with working to restore a civil order. (The “grey man” approach that some advocate is a bad choice here. No one is going to follow anyone who looks to be in the same shape as the masses.)

Bugs and how to control them

An assortment of items to protect against insects

Bugs are not only incredibly annoying, they are also a major disease vector. Maintaining health and sanitation are a major part of preparedness. Handling insects was the main focus, but also discussed was the control of mice and rats.

  • Insect repellent with DEET
  • Wide-brimmed hat with mosquito net
  • Mosquito netting for bed or cot
  • Fly swatters
  • Fly paper or fly ribbon
  • Mosquito netting coveralls
  • Picnic plate covers to keep bugs away from food
  • Mouse and rat traps
  • Mouse and rat bait

Close-in Defense

Assortment of non-firearm weapons (plus the shotgun in the background)

  • Overview of close-in weapons
  • Handgun and shotgun
  • Cane
  • SOG Spirit knife screws into standard broomstick threads
  • Using what’s available – hammer, saw, kitchen knife, etc.
  • Good discussion of vital area targets for edged and pointed weapons
  • Objective is to immediately stop the brain from functioning
  • Good discussion on the moral issues involved in self defense

As usual, after the meeting was adjourned, there was informal discussion on other options:

  • Flashlight to temporarily blind and disorient should be a high priority when making your personal security plans.
  • Most sources state that, for a tactical flashlight, 60 lumens is the minimum, but more is always better for tactical use.
  • Dependability is an absolute requirement – a tactical flashlight is not the place to try and save a few dollars with a Chinese bargain light.
  • This link may be a good place to start looking for a light.
  • Umbrella is another good option when other weapons are prohibited.


April 2019 Meeting

April 13, 2019

  • Calorie density in your food storage program.
  • Home Defense – When dialing 911 is not an option.
  • Perimeter Defense – Time and distance is your friend.

Also discussed:
Sweet Potatoes – Seed potatoes of the Centennial variety were available for those who want to grow them.
Candida auris – Drug resistant fungal infection with 30% – 60% fatality rate.
Ebola – Crisis continues to grow in Africa.

Calorie density comparison demonstration.

Peg gave a presentation on calorie density and the importance of getting the maximum number of calories in your storage food program for the cost and the amount of space it takes up. We did a taste test of two varieties of Vienna Sausage and compared the cost and the caloric content of both.


Illustrating concentric rings of defense.

Home Defense / Perimeter Defense and Post Collapse Home Defense

Following is the outline used for this program:

  1. Key Points
    1. This is all about a time without rule of law (WROL), when utility power is either non-existent or intermittent.
    2. There is no one right answer. It depends on:
      1. Location – urban, rural, suburban
      2. People – homogeneous or “multi-cultural”, high trust or low trust
      3. Local conditions
      4. Who is occupying your home with you
      5. Your own strategy (important topic we’ll go into more in a bit)
      6. Physical layout
        1. Size of your yard
        2. Fenced or not
        3. Surrounding area
      7. Your individual personal situation
        1. Age and physical and mental condition
        2. Family and dependents
        3. Young children or elderly
  2. Strategy
    1. Grey Man
    2. Neighborhood asset and leadership
    3. Hunker in the Bunker, Kill ’em All
    4. Lone Wolf
    5. Remote location with no human contact
  3. Mobility – is it really needed?
    1. Can you carry all of your supplies with you?
    2. Moving and abandoning your supplies
      1. Very real risk of escaping one threat, only to end up a refugee
      2. Refugee is a nice word for “dead body found along the road”
    3. Stand and fight is a very real strategy
    4. Never trade a high risk situation now for a slow death later
  4. Circles of security – Perimeters
    1. “Safe room”
      1. Bad idea for WROL – protects bad guys from you as they loot
      2. Useful to protect small children, elderly, etc.
    2. Exterior walls of your house
    3. Property boundary lines
      1. Very little use if not fenced
      2. Excellent if effectively fenced
    4. Vegetative Barriers
      1. Rose bushes
        1. Good under windows
        2. Must be planted close together to be effective
      2. Climbing Rose
        1. New Dawn – LOTS of thorns, white flowers
        2. Old Blush – Fewer thorns, but very prolific, vigorous growth, pink flowers
    5. Surveillance
      1. Lighting
        1. South African light system
        2. LED flood lights
          1. Manual switch or motion activated
          2. Low battery drain with an inverter
      2. FLIR
      3. Drones
      4. Video surveillance system
    6. Fencing
      1. Psychological barrier
      2. Physical barrier unless it is just decorative fence
      3. Padlocks and chains for gates
      4. Fence Enhancements
      5. Barbed wire
        1. Intended for livestock – not very effective against people
        2. Zoning laws prevent using it now in residential areas
      6. Razor wire
        1. Very effective, and potentially deadly
        2. Illegal to use at present time, or at least a major liability
        3. Best deployed in coils (Slinky) just inside the fence
      7. Trip wire alarms
        1. Blank firing
        2. Marbles or ball bearings in a can
    7. Immediate neighborhood
      1. Those you live next to and can routinely interact with
    8. Expanded neighborhood and beyond
      1. Those within an organized area
  5. Time is your friend
    1. Even if bad guys get to your door, delay their entry
      1. The longer they are exposed, the greater the danger to them and the more likely they are to find another target.
    2. Physical barriers from lumber just outside the door or window
    3. Surprise barriers just inside doors and key windows furniture pushed to block entrance
    4. Marbles and ball bearings on a walkway are not just for comedy routines
    5. Wire strung 12″-18″ above ground will cause them to trip. (Tanglefoot)
      1. Use galvanized steel electric fence wire (not aluminum) or razor wire.
      2. Sharp stakes make the fall far worse
    6. Good locks with deadbolts on strong doors
    7. Crimsafe window screen
    8. Hurricane shutters
  6. Distance is your friend – keep the bad guys as far away as possible
    1. Important to organize quickly
      1. How you organize will vary by area
    2. An organized neighborhood protection team allows people to focus on producing food and restoring civilization rather than having everyone focused on defense.
    3. Notification to the outside areas
      1. Signs at key checkpoints
      2. Manned guard posts at key checkpoints
      3. Night patrol (basically, a local police force)
      4. Curfew with “shoot on sight” policy
  7. Civil Responsibilities
    1. Establish a system to ensure that things don’t get out of hand
      1. Vigilante systems are vital, but they must be carefully controlled, or they can be used for personal grudges, revenge, and power.
      2. Careful records need to be kept, with witnesses, etc., when appropriate
  8. Dogs
    1. Big dogs vs. Little dogs
      1. Feed required
      2. Alarm vs Attack
      3. Natural defender vs. Trained defender
      4. For trained attack – big investment in training time
    2. Don’t get a dog if home defense is your only, or even primary motivation
      1. A dog, even a working dog, is not just a tool
      2. Requires a pack relationship. Dog needs to see itself as being a part of the pack, and must see you as the Alpha figure.
  9. Other alarm animals
    1. Geese
    2. Guinea fowl

February 2019 Meeting

February 9, 2019

  • Grand Solar Minimum, Part 2 – Q & A, Prep Considerations, etc. Presented by Charles Scott.
  • Seed Bank Project

Charles Scott answering questions about Grand Solar Minimum

This meeting was mostly a re-cap of last month’s meeting, followed by a question and answer time. Although much of the program was a repeat of last month’s program, it is a complex topic, and you could see that “Ah ha!” moment when it really clicked – when people understood what is happening and the seriousness of the consequences. This is a topic that we’re going to be hearing a lot about very soon. It is just now starting to find its way into the media. Meetings like this give us a major head start in preparing for the future. That’s why we’re here.

Also discussed was the Seed Bank Project. The original idea of packaging the seed bank in cans and then making them available to members at cost proved to be impractical. Instead, we have put together complete instructions, along with links to purchase the seeds, on this page. The advantage is that you can now personalize your own Seed Bank by adding seeds that you like. The disadvantage is that you need to actually DO it rather than just paying for a completed package.

FEB 2019 meeting. Charles Scott presenting program on Grand Solar Minimum.

January 2019 Meeting

January 12, 2019

  • Grand Solar Minimum – A Basic Overview (Hint: Don’t get rid of your Winter clothing. Cold temperatures can mean drastically reduced food production.)
    Guest Speaker: Charles Scott.

For the most part, preparing for Grand Solar Minimum (GSM) is no different from prepping for any of the other civilization-threatening scenarios (EMP, CME, global war, financial collapse, etc.). Take action accordingly.

Among the top programs ever presented in our meetings, this presentation by Charles Scott clearly laid out the threat of a seriously colder climate due to cyclical changes in the amount of energy we receive from the sun. It is a complex topic made understandable, but needed a two hour session with a 10 minute break in the middle. We highly recommend that you visit Charles Scott’s web site – https://SuperGSMinfo.com/ and spend some time going through the material presented there. To get you started, this is a quick summary from the Super GSM Info site:


The sun is the driver of our climate. Everything in the universe, including our star, operates on a cycle. These solar cycles are noted by periods of increased and decreased energy output. Highly predictable patterns have emerged through studying the sun’s constant oscillation cycles.

Periods of increased/decreased solar output have been discovered throughout history by studying sunspot data, geology, tree ring data, volcanoes, and ice core samples. There is an ominous correlation between plagues, droughts, famine, civil unrest, war, cold weather deaths, crop failures, and the collapse of every civilization known to exist when the sun enters a period of ‘deep hibernation’ or Grand Minimum. A minor change in the sun’s output causes major changes in our fragile species.

In Nov 2018, Professor Valentina Zharkova PhD. presented a lecture indicating that our star is, in fact, beginning a descent into a Super Grand Minimum cycle. The sun’s 4 magnetic fields are swinging out of phase and the solar output is currently diminishing at a rate that’s unprecedented. No one on the planet has ever experienced what we’re about to experience. We may be on the brink of the collapse of our civilization because the sun is the driver of our climate.


Charles Scott will also be at our February meeting to answer questions and go into some of the issues involved in preparing for a globally colder climate, with its affect on food production being a key component.


Note the trends: Time between cold cycles is decreasing, and temperatures during the cold cycles are dropping sharply.


This is a very short term snapshot of where we are now. This is not intended to illustrate GSM, but rather to show that GSM is not some far distant event.


Charles Scott

Sample slides from the presentation

Meeting Notes – November 2018

November 10, 2018

  • Radio workshop
  • Armored backpack inserts

Most of the November meeting was a training session on the technical aspects of using the new radios.

The Backpack Armor Insert from Premier Body Armor was demonstrated using a Maxpedition Falcon II pack. (When ordering using this link, Volusia County Prepping receives a small commission for any purchases.)

October 2018 Meeting

October 13, 2018

  • Radio Overview
  • Things you might not have thought about that aren’t high priority, but will make life better
  • Round-Table Q&A – Growing your own food: Gardens, Chickens, and Ducks, PART 2
  • Seed Bank Project

The group buy of radios has arrived, and an overview of the radio and how to use it was led by Bud H. A more detailed radio class will be held at the November meeting.

Those of us who have been prepping for a while have probably got the basics taken care of: Food, Water, Defense, Medical, etc. What comes next?

Looking at disasters in times past, the matter of morale keeps appearing. Even when people are tired, cold, and hungry, what they really want is to feel like a civilized human again. A hot shower becomes a priceless luxury, a chocolate bar becomes something that dreams are made of, and so forth.

What would you miss? What routines are a part of your life that would make you feel civilized again?

Is coffee or tea part of your normal routine? If so, then stockpile coffee or tea, and have an efficient way to boil water. A Kelly Kettle and an alcohol (or “spirit burner”) stove, along with a small tea pot, make it possible.

What about personal grooming? It doesn’t take much to get a haircut – some good scissors, a comb, and maybe a hand trimmer. What about shaving? With an old-school double edge razor, you can easily buy a lifetime supply of double edge razor blades. Razor blades require high precision machinery and large quantities to be economical to produce – they would be a very low priority item following a collapse, and probably very difficult to obtain.

Remember that maintaining your personal appearance is not just for yourself and your family. You want to be able to lead others, and if you’re just as dirty, grubby, and unkempt as they are, they would rightly ask, “why should we listen to you?”.

Toilet paper is something that most preppers have stockpiled. At some point, though, that is going to run out. What do you do then? Washing with water is a good alternative, and the Hygienna Solo is a good way to handle that task. Having one for each person you expect to have staying with you would be a good plan.

How will you clean your clothes? A couple of square galvanized wash tubs will make that much easier, and a hand wringer (sold for use at car washes) will make it relatively efficient. Don’t forget to stockpile laundry detergent (dry keeps better than liquid).

How will you repair and alter your clothing? With a limited diet, you may soon find your clothing to be several sizes too large. Hand crank and treadle operated sewing machines are still readily available on eBay.

Demonstrated at the meeting – the Singer Model 99K, hand crank sewing machine, made in 1935, and purchased on eBay. This model was made in electric, hand-crank, and treadle versions. The basic machine is interchangeable – the electric model can have the motor removed and replaced with a hand crank mechanism. Note that the hand wheel must be slotted rather than solid; otherwise, the hand wheel must be replaced with a slotted model in order to use a hand crank. Replacement cranks are available, but they are made in China and I am told they are usually a bit rough; functional, but rough.

Are all of your medical preps focused on life-or-death matters? Yes, it’s good to be able to treat gunshot wounds and broken bones and severed arteries and deadly disease, but don’t forget about something as simple as a splinter. When you’re working with your hands, you’re going to end up with splinters and thorns and metal slivers in your skin. That makes work painful, and the threat of infection is very real. Do you have the tools to remove those splinters? Can you even see those splinters? Jewelers eye loupe lets you see what you’re working on and still have both hands to work with. Disposable blood lancets are great for those you have to dig out, and precision tweezers are needed to remove them.


Coffee and Tea
Evernew Titanium burner
Evernew Titanium cross stand
Trangia Brass burner
Trangia Brass burner with triangle stove
tea pot
Kelly Kettle

Clothes washing
ꔷ tubs (special order from a local hardware store)
Clothes wringer
ꔷ Lots of soap – laundry soap, hand soap, etc.

Toilet paper alternative
Hygienna Solo

Hand-crank sewing machine

Razor and blades, and shave soap
Haircut hand trimmer

Splinters, thorns, and slivers
Blood Lancets
7x eye loupe

Food Production Round Table

Continuation of the food production round table. Click here for outline.

Seed Bank Project

Discussion on the Seed Bank Project. We will be assembling packages of garden seeds that are proven to grow well in this area. They will be packaged for long term storage and will include plant-specific information, planting and harvest times, seed saving, and other information. More information to come as the project progresses.


The Hidden Fallout Shelter

Imagine buying a house, and then discovering a fallout shelter hidden among the overgrown back yard. That’s what happened with a house in DeLand. For reasons that are obvious to any prepper, we cannot disclose the name of the owner or the exact location, but it is in or near DeLand. When the new owners started looking for a vaguely-named building that was on the property description, it took three attempts searching the property to find it. Among the undergrowth was a rusted wheelbarrow turned upside down. Beneath that was a rotting sheet of plywood. When the plywood was removed, a door and stairway was revealed.

Especially during the 1960’s, fallout shelters were a popular option in homes. This is the fifth fallout shelter in this area that I am aware of. Since people are generally very quiet about their existence, it’s a safe bet that they are far more common than one might think.

Undergrowth as viewed from grassy area.

Undergrowth pulled away to expose the plywood cover.

With the plywood removed and the door unlatched, we can see the entrance. The mirror propped in the corner allows those inside the shelter to see anyone attempting to enter.

Interior view.

Ventilation duct. The angle prevents radiation from reaching the interior. There is an electric fan that provides fresh air. This is switched to battery power if utility power is not available.

Solar Minimum – Current Status


Above: The TIMED satellite monitoring the temperature of the upper atmosphere.

Today’s issue of SpaceWeather.com reports on the Solar Minimum that we are now entering.

THE CHILL OF SOLAR MINIMUM: The sun is entering one of the deepest Solar Minima of the Space Age. Sunspots have been absent for most of 2018, and the sun’s ultraviolet output has sharply dropped. New research shows that Earth’s upper atmosphere is responding.

“We see a cooling trend,” says Martin Mlynczak of NASA’s Langley Research Center. “High above Earth’s surface near the edge of space, our atmosphere is losing heat energy. If current trends continue, the upper atmosphere could soon set a Space Age record for cold.”

The Grand Solar Minimum (GSM) will be the topic of an upcoming meeting as soon as we can schedule it. In the mean time, this PDF is a formal paper presented at the Actuaries Summit in Sydney, Australia; it gives a very detailed overview of what GSM is, and how it is projected to affect us.

Meeting Notes – September 2018

September 8, 2018

  • Colloidal Silver demonstration
  • Round-Table Q&A – Growing your own food: Gardens, Chickens, and Ducks, PART 1

Potatoes, Squash, Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplant, Okra.

Mother hen and her chicks.

Baby ducks and geese.

Colloidal Silver – Scott gave a demonstration, including what you will need and how to get started. The program outline and links are in this PDF doc of the program.

Food Production Roundtable – Stephen and Scott led a question and answer discussion about gardening. This is planned to be a regular feature of the meetings.


Meeting Notes August 2018

August 11, 2018

  • Demo of Rogan Tools, by Mike Rogan
  • Tools for efficient vegetable gardening
  • Turning a lawn into a food-producing garden
  • Tower gardening and container gardening
  • Authenticating gold and silver coins
  • Group Radio Purchase

Rogan Tools – Mike Rogan gave a demo of the tools that he produces. These are very tough, made-in-the-USA, multi-use tools. Each tool is designed to do the four functions shown in the graphic below:

Mike Rogan (left) showing tools to John.


Tools for Large Scale Gardening

A well-stocked garden tool shed will make gardening far more efficient.

An American hoe and an African hoe – both of current manufacture, but a world of difference. Two lessons: 1) Quality matters, and 2) It is possible to improvise if you failed to plan ahead.

Gardening tools demonstrated at the meeting


Tools to Consider:

  • Note: Be sensible; you don’t need everything;
    start slowly; buy quality
  • Work gloves, leather and rubberized
  • Hat, long sleeve shirt, sunglasses, sweat band
  • Grubbing Hoe – breaking new ground
  • Broad fork – breaking new ground
  • 4-tine Spading fork – breaking new ground
  • Standard round shovel – “everything”
  • Short small shovel – transplanting, digging potatoes
  • Scuffle hoe / stirrup hoe – weeding
  • Wheel hoe – weeding, cultivating, planting prep
  • Earthway (or equivalent) Seeder – row planting
  • Jab seeder – large seeds, more control, slower
  • Landscape rake or iron rake – seed bed prep
  • Speedling trays – seed starting
  • Harvesting bucket – frees up both hands for picking
  • Garden knife – harvesting, general work
  • Pruning shears – pruning and harvesting
  • Garden trowel – planting and transplanting



  • Wash tools after each use
  • Store in clean, dry place
  • Thin coat of oil if needed
  • Keep a file handy to sharpen tools


Tool Sources:

EasyDigging.com – excellent source for a wide variety of top quality hand tools for gardening.

Meadow Creature Broadfork – as close to an indestructible tool as it gets. Manual tiller for breaking new ground and preparing ground for gardening. Expensive, but your great-grandchildren will probably still be using it.

Hoss Wheel Hoe – The key to weed control is to cut them down when they first come up, and then keep cutting them down. The Hoss Wheel Hoe is perfect for running down between the rows. In our sandy soil, you can weed almost as fast as you can walk.

ProHoe Scuffle Hoe – ProHoe tools are made from recycled disc blades, and are about as tough as it gets. All of their tools should last a life time (or more) if given reasonable care.

Push-Pull Hoe – similar to the scuffle hoe; used the same way.

Harvesting Bucket – An ordinary bucket or basket will work just fine, but these allow you to use both hands to harvest, it keeps the bucket close to you and not swinging around. Well worth it if you have a large garden or more than a couple of fruit trees. It’s also easier on your back since you don’t have to keep setting the bucket down and picking it up to move. Very heavy duty construction.

Earthway Garden Seeder – There are other seeders available, and for some applications, the Earthway might not be the ideal choice; however, for general garden use for average size seeds (most of what is planted in the Central Florida area), you can’t go wrong with the Earthway seeder. They have been around for a long time, replacement parts are readily available, and it is a simple design in a rugged package.

Speedling Tray (72 Cell) – One of the fastest, most efficient ways to start larger quantities of seeds. These are made from Styrofoam.

Seed Starting Tray (162 Cell) – Injection molded plastic from Hoss Tools.

Seed Sower – Easily handle small seeds.


Marilyn described how tower gardening works – the advantages and disadvantages. If you are away traveling, this might not be a good choice for you. If you’re usually at home, tower gardening is a good way to grow a lot in very little space. Marilyn does a good bit of traveling, so she is selling hers. Please contact her directly if you are interested (members-only email went out with details on this).

The local source is Living Towers in Eustis.


Authenticating Silver coins:

Fisch System – The “gold standard” (pardon the pun) for authenticating most mint-issued bullion coins. It checks circumference, thickness, and weight. If a coin falls outside the specifications for the coin, then it is most likely a fake.

If your plans include the potential for a currency collapse, then having some silver on hand would be a good idea. Keep in mind, though, that silver and gold are not an “investment” – they are simply hard currency.

Mint-issued bullion coins vs. “Rounds” – A “round” is a “coin” made by a private company. There is typically a lower premium on rounds, which is what makes them attractive. The initial purchase price is lower than a mint-issued coin. The problem is that this also means that the over-all value is lower than a mint-issued coin. When a coin is sold or used to purchase something, the added premium that was initially paid is still calculated into the value of the coin. The main point, though, is that a mint-issued coin can be authenticated, where a round can not without additional testing. This is less of a factor for silver than for gold, since the value of gold makes it a high-value target for fraud. Coins and bars sold as “gold” have been found that have a Tungsten core and a thin gold outer shell – yet another reason why gold is not the best choice for economic preparedness.

Summary: Having a means to authenticate silver coins would be valuable capability – even if you only have a small handful of it yourself. Authentication would be a valued service should hard currency become “the new standard”. While gold gets the headlines, it is far too valuable per ounce to be of much practical use – silver is far more useful, and silver coins are still quite recognizable to people.


Discussion went well beyond the topic of authentication. How and where to buy precious metal coins was a popular topic. One source that several members have had experience with is True Metals Group (located here in Florida). Others have purchased coins at gun and coin shows, and at store-front coin dealers.

Before buying bullion coins, check to be sure that your bank safe deposit box is currently paid up. If you will need a larger size, then it’s time to upgrade.


Gold and Silver Price History
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Group Radio Purchase – Bud described the radios that will be purchased as part of the group order. This is the same radio as the previous group order several years ago.

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